Wilnis could remain on Town books

FABIAN Wilnis could remain on Ipswich Town books.

FABIAN Wilnis could remain on Ipswich Town books.

The 37-year-old defender came to the end of his playing contract last month after ten seasons at Portman Road.

And although granted a testimonial that is planned for August 2009 it looked as though he would drift away from the club.

But the fans' favourite today revealed that he has been offered an ambassadorial role with the Blues.


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He expects to make a decision next week, and is currently weighing up his options.

Walking with the aid of a crutch after suffering a knee injury while limbering up before a recent training session, Wilnis expects to be out of playing action for three weeks.

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He has been linked with Blue Square Premier Grays Athletic, but is currently deciding what course to take.

“If I take the tempting Ipswich Town offer it will mean I will not be able to play full time,” he said. “I want to carry on playing - and do some coaching with a view to 2009/10 - as I want to be in good shape for my testimonial game.”

Wilnis' role with Ipswich would include taking charge of coaching clinics for foreign children who come over to Portman Road, and to travel abroad with youth teams connected with the Blues.

“I would be spreading the brand of Ipswich Town,” he said.

If Wilnis takes the Town post he is likely to play part time, and he has already experienced life at Bury Town and Needham Market in pre-season.

Wilnis is proud to be only the second Dutchman to be handed a testimonial in England.

“I have checked, and the first was Dennis Bergkamp,” said Wilnis, who made over 300 appearances for Ipswich.

“Frans Thijssen has said he will play in my testimonial while I am still trying to persuade Arnold Muhren to put his boots back on. They will both be at the game.

“Feyenoord are my first choice for opponents, but if not we have an exciting plan B to turn to.”

Wilnis wants Town fans to join in his celebrations as testament to the good relationship he has always had with supporters.

He plans to have 'A night with Fabian' at Blues' Supporters Club branches with question and answer and signing sessions.

A special testimonial website is opening next month with the testimonial launch taking place in early September.

Apart from the game, Wilnis' year will include a gala dinner and a golf day both with an orange theme.

His wife and children have returned to Holland to live in his specially built one-off, dome-shaped house, with Wilnis staying in Ipswich to ensure his big year goes with a swing.

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